Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
- Marcel Proust
What a great saying. It makes me think of my real gardener who trims my bushes, rakes my leaves and cuts my grass. We have to indulge in
paying someone to do this work because we have always had a gardener even in
our leaner days. There was William who started with us way back in 1964 and we
got to know his sons and all about his family. He worked another job and to
make additional money, he did lawns on the weekends. Then when he semi-retired
we got a man named Edward who worked another job and was off on Fridays and
came did all of the neighbors’ lawns. He was very methodical, very
distinguished looking with his neat beard and moustache. One Friday he did not
arrive as he did every Friday doing our lawn and others one week and another
group of lawns the next week. It was our turn week and I thought that perhaps
he had taken a vacation. A week later, we got a note in our mailbox that
Edward’s son typed up and said his dad had died suddenly in the evening of a
brain aneurysm. Then there was Thomas who was a very religious man and when you
called his home the message machine said “have a blessed day and we will call
you back.” Finally there is Bill who is very neat, particular and competent and
when he finishes your lawn. you can imagine it looks like the gardens in Paris
at the Versailles palace. Of course, that is a good imagination, but that is
Gardeners do neat jobs and even the weeds look good when a good one does his work well.
When we first moved into our house, we had no bushes and one day the former owner of where I lived as a teen came and gave me a cutting from
his Crepe Myrtle tree/bush. He said it will be a new home present and you will
always remember me as it grows and prospers. Right now, forty-eight years later
it is a big, big bush/tree that is about seven feet tall. On or about August 3rd
of each summer, out comes the lovely dark pink flower. You kind of know it is
August the 3rd or later, when you see all over the area, the pink
flowers in their best mode. It seems as if the bush knows the date and one
year, they never arrived here until about two weeks later. I kidded my husband
that it was running on the Jewish calendar dates when there is a leap year, and
the calendar has an additional month. So perhaps that year, the crepe myrtle
was running on the wrong calendar.
So every August I think of the man Mr. Ben who gave me the cutting as a new home gift. A lasting gift whose blossoms on the tree/bush and
even on my soul make me remember Mr.Ben.
Mom always loved flowers and when she graduated high school in 1925, she had the desire to work in a florist shop. She never did, but she
loved flowers and plants and knew the names of hundreds of them when she saw
them. Every Mother’s Day I bought her as one of my presents to her, a hanging
plant that looked as if it was upside down, called Impatience. It started to
come in various colors though she loved the pink ones the best. The blooms hung
upside down instead of up like most plants. It made for a cute look on your
A lady was on the television with her friend. She saw this young man on the street one day in New York and he asked her for some coins
because he was hungry. She instead took him to a burger place and they had
lunch together. From then on, she met him often and they had lunch together and
she encouraged him to continue on and to realize his dreams. She helped him in
many ways and one day he told her that his dream was to bring to school a lunch
bag, brown in color with his lunch in it. He wanted to be like the other kids.
What a dream, a brown lunch bag. She, Laura Schroff let Maurice know she cared
about him. Once she took him to a dinner at her sister’s house and the thing
that Maurice marveled at was that the whole family and he ate in a large dining
room; eating, conversing and being happy. She had thought he would be impressed
with her sister’s home, yet he was delighted with the long dining room table.
Now he is thirty-seven, a father of seven kids and in his home he converted the living room into an extra-large dining room, so that his
large family can eat together like at the sister’s home.
He is a small business owner, a dad, husband and still a dear and devoted friend of Laura. She has written a book about all of this called An Invisible Thread.
So Laura is like the gardener who does real lawns; she made Maurice’s soul blossom by her kindness to a youngster on the street asking for
money to eat. Brown bags, burger restaurants and large dining rooms, kindness
and flowers all are synonymous with what we are all about as people.
Mike Huckabee said on his show one night “put our arms around and see the situation.” Yes, we can do that and we will be happier for
doing so. It was an invisible thread that brought Maurice and Laura together
that day in New York City and the thread is still visible. We have in our daily
lives many threads that we can sew together to make a large quilt of happiness
for ourselves and others.